Transport Minister GS Bali lauded the ‘aam aadmi’ Budget presented by Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh and blamed previous BJP regime for gross financial mismanagement.

While participating in the debate on Budget proposals for 2013-14 in the Assembly, he said the BJP regime had never paid heed to the plight of the common man and particularly the educated unemployed youth whose number was rising.

While praising the budget, Bali said that the Chief Minister has tried to give benefit to every section of society notwithstanding severe financial constraints. He said housing grant and social security pension had been enhanced and subsidy on electricity had been raised from Rs 190 crore to Rs 270 crore.

He said that previous Govt has put state in gross financial mess and now it will take some time for Congress Govt to sort out this financial mess as liabilities on account of revised pay scales, pensions, loans and interest payment is huge.

Bali also criticised the previous Dhumal led Govt for its unsuccessful attempts to disintegrate Kangra district by carving out three districts. He blamed that the BJP regime did nothing for Kangra. The Congress government has announced an engineering college for the district. One of the two advanced training institutes will be set up here.

Participating in the debate, BJP legislator Sarveen Chaudhary targeted members of the Gandhi family, evoking a strong protest from treasury benches. She said that the Union Govt has an unending list of scams that have rocked the nation. He said that the Congress has no right to talk of corruption.

She criticized the budget and said the Budget was more a political document which lacked facts, depth, practicality and imagination for the future. She said that the Congress had deceived the youth of the state.

Chintpurni MLA and former Minister Kuldeep Kumar targeted BJP regime over controversial land deals like those by Ramdev and Prashant Bhushan, the Bemloe project, purchase around Annandale and irregularities by the state cricket body.

However, Senior BJP leader and former Cabinet Minister in Dhumal Govt, Rajiv Bindal credited the previous regime with improving the living standard of the people with an increase in per capita income. He said the health sector had now been ignored and the government was acting with vendetta. Jai Ram Thakur of the BJP said the pace of development in the state had come to a standstill while the government was more involved in changing the names of schemes started by the BJP regime. Randhir Sharma of the BJP said the Budget had disappointed the common man and did not mention ways to improve the financial health of the state.

Himachal Lokhit Party legislator Maheshwar Singh and Independent legislator Karnesh Jung said the Budget had taken care of the interest of all sections of society. Prakash Chaudhary, Ajay Mahajan, ID Dhiman, Rajender Rana, Col (retd) Inder Singh and Kishori Lal also took part in the debate.